Russ Feingold was elected to the U.S. Senate with 53 percent of the vote in 1992, defeating Republican Sen. Robert Kasten. He was narrowly re-elected in 1998, defeating Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann with 50 percent of the vote. Feingold served in the Wisconsin Senate, 1982-92.
In 2002, Feingold entertained the notion of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, visiting universities in states including Iowa, site of the country's first presidential caucus, and the University of New Hampshire, the state with the first presidential primary. He eventually decided against becoming a candidate.